Madelung Deformity: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Madelung deformity is a condition in which the part of the radius bone forming the wrist joint grows abnormally resulting in the hand to be deviated towards the little finger and the palm.

Causes of this deformity include

  • injury to the growth plate of radius bone at the wrist
  • congenital (since birth)
  • infection in the growth plate of radius bone at the wrist
  • idiopathic in which cause is unknown
  • genetic as in Turner syndrome, achondroplasia and dyschondrosteosis

This deformity is commonly

  • seen in girls more
  • occurs in both the hands
  • seen between the age of 11 to 14 years

Symptoms include

  • a gradually worsening deformity
  • decreased movement in the wrist joint
  • mild to moderate pain

madelung deformity madelung deformity

Diagnosis is confirmed by x rays of the wrist joint. X rays will show.

  • curvature and angulation of the radius
  • shifting of the ulna towards the back of the wrist
  • small bones of the wrist joint are pressed together and appear wedge like

Treatment can be operative or non-operative.

Non-operative treatment (regular observation along with splinting the wrist if there is mild pain) is indicated in patients who have good function and mild or no pain.

Operative treatment is indicated in patients who have continuous pain and increasing deformity.

During surgery the abnormal bone is cut and repositioned correctly.

x ray of madelung deformity x ray of madelung deformity

These are x rays of a girl with madelung deformity. You can see that the ulna has grown beyond the radius. She had only mild pain after doing heavy work, and was advised to use a rubber bandage while working.

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 17th February 2011.

Other causes of wrist pain...

De Quervain Disease


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Scaphoid Fracture

Wrist Fracture

Wrist Anatomy

Go back from Madelung Deformity to Wrist Pain


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